Brand building – the dot-to-dot tortoise

We all know the story of the hare and the tortoise. As a child I liked that story as I don’t walk particularly well – so someone slower winning a race was pretty motivating!  These days I like it because it’s a fundamental of brand building.

Seth’s blog this week titled ‘The Order’, resonated for the same reason.  You should expect profit after you invest in things like training, people, promotion or customer service, not before.

Whether as a marketing director for a brand, or a brand positioning consultant, I’ve always tried to do things in the right order.  At the start it takes a little more time (so a patient boss and some negotiation helps) but it’s usually been the key to mine and my clients’ success.

What I love most about this approach, is it also helps marketing teams develop and achieve, together.  Each person – whether they’re a product manager or a pricing analyst, whether they produce sales aids or a social media campaign – can see beyond their own role to the whole picture.  They start brand building dot by dot, in a pragmatic order.  To use an analogy, the person laying the track gets there before the train, which arrives in time for the right passengers who need to go in that direction.  It also creates a momentum that means everyone begins to move at pace towards a common goal.

Which reminds me of another childhood pastime I loved – dot-to-dot drawing.  There’s a reason someone thought about the order you connect the dots.  It turns out to be the quickest way to unveil a race-winning tortoise, over and over.

Or in other words, you build a brand that lasts.